What are cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of your eye that causes your vision to appear hazy. Cataracts happen gradually as your eyes get older, and the natural lens will eventually need to be removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens in order for you to see clearly.1
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Symptoms of cataracts include2:
- Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
- Reduced quality of night vision
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty reading
- Fading of colors
- Double vision in a single eye
What is an intraocular lens?
An intraocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens that is implanted during surgery to replace your cataract lens. You can choose from many different types of IOLs—some are designed to provide only distance vision, while trifocal lenses deliver near, intermediate, and distance vision for clear, complete focus.3 After a surgeon removes your cataract-clouded lens, he or she will implant the IOL that you chose before your procedure.
What is a trifocal lens?
A trifocal lens is an IOL that is specifically engineered to provide vision at every distance, from near through far and can offer benefits beyond a standard cataract lens. The Alcon PanOptix® Lens, the first and only trifocal lens for cataracts in the United States, delivers enhanced quality and a complete range of vision.3
Are there other intraocular lens options?
Yes, there are many different types of lenses. Talk to your doctor to find out which might be right for you.
Does the PanOptix® Lens address presbyopia?
Yes, the PanOptix® Lens is designed to mitigate presbyopia, which is a common condition that makes it difficult to see up close. Addressing presbyopia provides an opportunity to reduce or even eliminate your need to wear reading glasses
Does the PanOptix® Lens correct astigmatism?
Yes, the PanOptix® Lens is available in a toric option to correct astigmatism. Toric lenses sharpen vision and clear the distortion caused by astigmatism. They may even help free you from glasses and contacts for distance vision.
How long does cataract surgery take?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that is usually completed within 10 to 20 minutes.4 Recovery time is based on the person and the case, but most people rest for a few hours after surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you wear a protective shield over your eye for several days.
Is cataract surgery safe?
Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most common, and most effective procedures performed in the United States.1 Most people experience little to no discomfort during the process and say that cataract surgery is easier than they expected.5,6
What happens before and during cataract surgery?
Before cataract surgery, you’ll meet with your doctor or another eye care professional to talk about your lens options and to clarify any questions or concerns you may have. Remember to disclose any current prescriptions or medications you’re taking. Before the surgeon begins the procedure, they’ll dilate your pupils and apply preoperative medication.6
During the procedure:
- Anesthetic is applied to your eye.
- The surgeon makes a small incision in your cornea in order to access the cataract.
- The cataract is gently broken up and removed.
- Your chosen IOL is implanted to replace the original lens.
Cataract surgery incisions are very small and can be made manually or with a laser. Talk to your doctor to find out more about bladeless laser-assisted surgery, manual surgery, and the differences between them. When you’re preparing for cataract surgery, it’s important that you feel confident and ready. Double check that you’re ready with our pre-surgery checklist.
What should I expect after cataract surgery?
While most people notice an improvement right away, you may experience some blurred vision as you heal.7 You may need to wear a protective eye shield for a brief amount of time to protect your eye. Be sure to plan for a friend or relative to stay with you to make sure you react as expected to the anesthetic and procedure.
If you’re interested in enhancing your vision at the time of cataract surgery, ask your doctor if the PanOptix® Lens is right for you.
How should I choose a surgeon?
Many factors play into your choice of a surgeon, such as your price range and your insurance coverage.
Once you’ve found surgeons who fit your needs, you should also consider the range and quality of vision you want to get out of cataract surgery.
Does my health insurance cover cataract surgery?
The cost of your surgery is based on a lot of things—like your location, your doctor, your co-pay requirement, and the lens you choose. Talk to your surgeon’s office; they will work with your insurer to determine how much you will need to pay.
Can I drive after cataract surgery?
It’s recommended that you don’t drive for up to 24 hours after your cataract surgery, so you’ll need to ask a friend or relative to drive you home. They’ll need to stay with you to make sure your recovery goes as expected. Consult with your doctor about the length of time you’ll need assistance. Usually, you’ll have a follow-up appointment with your doctor the day after cataract surgery. Your doctor will then assess your vision and decide whether you’re clear to drive.
Can I fly after cataract surgery?
Most people are able to fly within a few days, but you should ask your doctor at your follow-up visit if you are cleared to travel.
Can I exercise after cataract surgery?
Generally, you should avoid strenuous activities for a few weeks after cataract surgery. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about certain activities.
How long do cataract replacement lenses last?
IOLs are very durable and usually last a lifetime.8 The lens you choose will make a big difference in your vision after surgery. By investing in your vision, you’re investing in your future.
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